Reading Kills

Here follows a short list of fatal book-related accidents:

1. Jon Birgurismir, killed in a book-hurling context (book-hurling being a traditional sport amongst Icelandic academics during the late nineteenth century)

2. Marcius De Roeber, squashed between two bookshelves after a small ground tremor in a poorly planned library just outside Barcelona. ‘It is how he’d have liked to go,’ said his wife, idly flicking through a magazine.

3. The Bishop of Wenchester. A victim of ecclesiastical greed, Wenchester commissioned the most expensive Bible to have ever been made, only to trip over it whilst administering communion.

4. Nicolas Clam, a victim of the Polperro Ink Disaster of 1977, in which a small publishing company mistakenly printed five hundred copies of a literary magazine in toxic ink. Only five copies were sold, and Clam was the only reader to have inhaled the ink in fatal quantities (he made his debut, as a poet, in the magazine).

5. Princess Gloria of Stanberg. Rumour has it that the Princess was so engrossed in a particular novel that she forgot to eat, thus dying of starvation. Others have argued that she died of shock, claiming that the book in question was one she herself had written, fifteen years before. Opinion differs as to whether she resented her early talent, or regretted the publication entirely.


2 thoughts on “Reading Kills

  1. I quite often forget to do things when I’m engrossed in a really good book. Usually housework, but I have been known to forget to eat too. Luckily I have a husband to remind me. To eat, that is…

  2. Reading, at its best, is certainly a dangerous activity; one in which the body often loses out to the imagination.

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